Squaring the Culture




"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

08/29/2008 (12:12 pm)

Palin Drone

All morning I’ve been hearing the wire whispers nattering “It’s Palin!” Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, clean-government reformer like McCain, hockey mom, younger than Obama, and … a woman.

And immediately, I came across several major blogs making what has to be the dumbest claim I’ve heard this election season, which really is saying something.

From Outside the Beltway:

Aside from being young and hot-for-a-politician, though, Palin undercuts McCain’s entire campaign theme. She’s got less political experience and less foreign policy experience than Obama.

From FireDogLake:

I just saw Mark Halperin wringing his hands on CNN saying Palin, who is younger than Obama, effectively kills McSame’s “not ready” meme.

From The Anonymous Liberal:

All that said, Palin has less than two years of experience in office. She’s only 44. To the extent the Republican party plans to attack Obama for his lack of experience–and it sure seems like that’s their principal attack–Palin clearly undermines that strategy.

I’m sure there are more, but who wants to read them? Honestly guys — she’s the nominee for Vice President! Obama is the nominee for PRESIDENT!!! She doesn’t undercut dick. Rather, she emphasizes the fact — and fact, it is — that if the Democrats had any brains at all, their ticket would be inverted, with Biden at the top and Obama at the bottom. I don’t like either of them, but inverting the ticket would at least defuse the “you can’t possibly be serious” factor.

Well, I guess they had to say something. But honestly, can they possibly be serious?

« « You're Not On Your Own | Main | Meet Sarah Palin » »

16 Comments »

August 29, 2008 @ 3:38 pm #

Phil –

“She doesn’t undercut dick.”

I think the question of inexperience is QUITE important, especially in light of McCain’s age. What do you think the odds are that Vegas will give that McCain will live through one or two terms as president? I’m betting pretty thin. As AOLNews headlined: “Is she ready to be a heartbeat away?” Though I cannot fault the McCain campaign for nominating someone solely to go after the undecided women voters.

Admittedly, readiness is quite a bit more of a problem for Obama. But, as I’ve said here before, surrounded with good advisors, Obama would probably do just fine on the readiness front.

Jim

August 29, 2008 @ 4:08 pm #

Hey Jim,

Speaking of Obama’s readiness, how long did it take Obama, “surrounded with good advisors,” to condemn Russia for invading Georgia?

Here is Obama’s first statement on the invasion:

“I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict. Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full scale war. Georgia’s territorial integrity must be respected,” Obama said in a written statement. “All sides should enter into direct talks on behalf of stability in Georgia, and the United States, the United Nations Security Council, and the international community should fully support a peaceful resolution to this crisis.”

This statement reeks of, as Joe Lieberman put it, “moral neutrality.”

August 29, 2008 @ 4:29 pm #

darkhorse —

After the number of times you’ve said that you believe Obama’s inexperience is a non-issue because he’ll get good advisors and learn the job, I’m pretty surprised to hear you bringing this up about Palin. So, your position is that it doesn’t matter much for the President because he’ll learn on the job, but the VICE President had better be ready out of the gate? And you think you’re being consistent?

You need to rethink this one.

Besides, don’t you agree that Biden – Obama would have had a stronger chance of winning than Obama – Biden?

August 29, 2008 @ 7:04 pm #

Oh my.

Well, I have to be honest, the bare minimum requirement of being a Vice President is that you can step in as President at any moment and lead the country in a crisis.

Can you really, truly, honestly look at Palin and say that she could run the country, reassure foreign leaders, and keep a semblance of order should 72-year-old McCain drop dead?

August 29, 2008 @ 7:04 pm #

But you will note, Phil, that I am also calling for the same consistency from you.

Sorry if I was not clear, but here is what I was after: If inexperience is an Obama concern, then it is NEARLY as much of a concern for Palin, again, due to McCain’s age.

However, I think the Bush presidency went a long way to proving the inverted experience factor and how it could work. Bush was a few more experienced on the executive front, due to his governorship; but Cheney was light years more knowledgeable on nearly every national front there was to be had.

Also, please note that I am not supporting Obama – I have deep concerns about his past influences, and much of that is due to your writing here. I do NOT think the experience factor is close to fatal to the idea of a presidency from anyone.

August 29, 2008 @ 8:16 pm #

Zanzibar wrote:

Well, I have to be honest, the bare minimum requirement of being a Vice President is that you can step in as President at any moment and lead the country in a crisis.

First of all, hi, Ray, it’s really good to see you here. Welcome.

Now, to the issue: I’m absolutely incredulous that Democrats have the chutzpah to say what you’re saying. Yes, Ray, that’s a bare minimum — but on every scale imaginable, Palin is more qualified than the Democrats’ candidate for President, and she’s merely the candidate for Vice President.

Her experience is not only direct, executive experience, but she’s actually competent at it, where we can infer from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge that Obama’s executive skills are iffy, and that’s being generous. She’s a genuine reformer, not a merely rhetorical one; she’s actually faced down and defeated political machines, where he’s only collaborated with them. She’s not hiding a dozen unwholesome prior associations, or lying about who she is.

So, yeah, I think it’s a fair question — and I think Obama would be hard-pressed to defeat Palin, let alone McCain, in terms of qualification.

August 29, 2008 @ 8:23 pm #

darkhorse wrote:

Sorry if I was not clear, but here is what I was after: If inexperience is an Obama concern, then it is NEARLY as much of a concern for Palin, again, due to McCain’s age.

We agree for once. Yes, it’s a real concern, and she’s a bit green to have such a high position. I had the same concerns about Bobby Jindal, although he’s almost as impressive as Palin is. And, I had a similar concern about Dan Quayle back in 1988.

However, note my comment to Zanzibar, above. Palin is inexperienced, and it’s a concern — but she’s more qualified than the top of the Democratic ticket, on just about any measure other than the ability to deliver a scripted speech.

August 29, 2008 @ 8:23 pm #

Wasilla, Alaska? City Council for two terms, and Mayor for two terms? And now two years into Governorship of a state that has a total of under 700,000 people?

That’s some MAJOR Kool-Aid you’re drinking here, Phil.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. We’ll wait and see how she does against Biden.

August 29, 2008 @ 8:35 pm #

Zanzibar:

“But you don’t have to take my word for it. We’ll wait and see how she does against Biden.”

There is no question in my mind Biden could mop up the floor with her in a debate – but that is a HUGE problem. The largest undecided vote at stake in this election is the soccer moms – and Biden is going to have to walk a very, VERY fine line indeed in order to avoid the appearance of bullying her in the eyes of those female voters.

Biden may be able to pull it off. When I met him, he was just about the most genuine guy I had met so far as a candidate – and I mean genuinely nice. I have no idea how Phil could say he doesn’t like him – unless he doesn’t know him.

Like it or not, though, the emotional response of that particular group of voters may just seal this election.

August 29, 2008 @ 8:55 pm #

You have a problem with Wasilla, Alaska, Ray? Given how little we know of Barry Obama, it would be wise to stick him in Wasilla as mayor for two terms and see how well he would do. I suspect the result would be unimpressive. The best indication we have of his skill in administration is his management of the Harvard Law Review, which got published well enough but is truly a minuscule project, and his oversight of the Annenberg Challenge, which was botched. Neither of those measure up to Palin’s work in Wasilla, let alone her successful years as governor of Alaska, where she has a 90% favorable rating. Forget President; I see no reason to imagine Obama is qualified to manage a medium-sized school district, let alone a state with 700,000 people (that happens to be the size of 1/3 of the continental US.)

But let’s not lose sight of the main point: Palin is offered as Vice President, Obama, as President. If you’re saying one ought not vote for McCain because his VP choice lacks experience, what possible excuse can you suggest for voting for Obama, who is offered as President but similarly lacks experience? If you really think experience matters that much, how can you plausibly support Obama’s candidacy at all?

August 29, 2008 @ 9:01 pm #

Jim —

I don’t like Biden’s politics. I have no idea about the man personally.

August 30, 2008 @ 7:55 am #

What I have learned about experience in the last 48 hrs from the respective campaigns.

Palin – Governor, Mayor, Business Women, and Elected Head of Mayor organization in Alaska.

Obama – Editor of College Newspaper, Community organizer, State Senator and Senator.

Have to go with Palin as being better choice.

Personal Life

Obama – Married, 2 girls, went to Church but didn’t listen, Worked/friendly with/lived near domestic terrorist but didn’t realize it.

Palin – Married, 5 children (1 of which was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth).
Goes to Church, tries and looks to succeed in following those beliefs.

Palin looks like the best choice.

Issues

Palin – Pro-Life – See children
Obama – Pro-Choice – Voted for letting life births die if botched abortion.(

Palin again as she errs on the side of life.

Fighting Corruption

Palin – Quite a State Job because of corruption and gave names, as Governor getting rid of corrupt officials no-matter the party.

Obama – Sorry can’t provide any.

Palin again.

Working across the aisle.

Palin – Sorry, at this time can’t provide any.

Obama – Worked with Republicans on 1 very popular bill.

At this time Obama.

August 30, 2008 @ 12:02 pm #

Quote: “But let’s not lose sight of the main point: Palin is offered as Vice President, Obama, as President. If you’re saying one ought not vote for McCain because his VP choice lacks experience, what possible excuse can you suggest for voting for Obama, who is offered as President but similarly lacks experience? If you really think experience matters that much, how can you plausibly support Obama’s candidacy at all?”

Phil, my point is that Illinois is a bit of a different political environment than Alaska. If you’re working in the Illinois legislature, you’re getting work done for a large constituency. Wasilla, Alaska simply doesn’t compare.

I don’t doubt that Obama is lacking in executive experience, but then, what does that say about McCain? Is it your belief that ANY Senator is thus unqualified to run for President? Should the GOP ticket be swapped?

Of the 535 members of Congress – whom, as Vice President, she will be forced to have INTRICATE dealings with, including being President of the Senate – how many is your guess that she has actually met prior to yesterday? I say ten, including McCain.

This is one step above giving the VP slot to a game show winner. My neighbor is the Mayor of this little suburb of 35,000 and has been on the City Council for a decade prior to that, so by your measuring stick she’s got more experience than any candidate, Prez or Veep, running on either side.

Honestly, Phil, I don’t envy you. You’ve been beating the steady GOP drumbeat of ‘inexperience’ as your last, best hope to stop the Obama train, and now you’ve gotten the rug pulled out from under you by your own candidate. And now you’re left holding a microscopic thread of ‘EXECUTIVE experience…in Alaska’ to cling to.

I understand you like her politics, but to somehow rationalize that she was the best candidate for the job is grounds for the men in the clean white coats to come and retrieve you.

August 30, 2008 @ 12:31 pm #

If you’re working in the Illinois legislature, you’re getting work done for a large constituency.

The size of the constituency matters very little (and it’s far fewer than 700,000 in any case, though larger than 5,500); what matters is what you’re getting done, and by that measure, Obama does not really deserve much credit. He basically introduced several measures to further the goals of ACORN (none of which passed), up until his last year in the legislature, at which time Emil Jones began shuffling all news bills under Obama’s name in order to raise his public recognition and inflate his productivity.

Is it your belief that ANY Senator is thus unqualified to run for President? Should the GOP ticket be swapped?

Executive experience does matter, and I’m inclined in general to regard legislators as inherently less qualified than executives; yes, this one consideration applies equally to McCain and Obama, although McCain outshines Obama by light years in the “productivity” department — he’s been a leader for a decade, Obama is a beginner. No, the GOP ticket should not be swapped; executive experience is not, by far, the only thing that matters. Gov. Palin really is a neophyte; it’s just that Senator Obama is just as much of one, and, as I seem to have to keep reminding you, he’s at the top of the ticket, and she is not, and that really does make a huge difference.

Honestly, Phil, I don’t envy you. You’ve been beating the steady GOP drumbeat of ‘inexperience’ as your last, best hope to stop the Obama train, and now you’ve gotten the rug pulled out from under you by your own candidate.

You overstate your case severely here. It’s actually the case that McCain had a clear win, and may just have handed his lead away and made the race closer than it should have been. The inexperience factor is still a real one — there’s no measure by which Obama is qualified even to be Senator, let alone President, and he’s the top of the ticket, not just the appendix — and there’s the radicalism factor, the gaffe factor, the messianic complex factor, and the dozens of clear indications that Obama is desperately hiding his entire past and can’t afford to tell the truth. Beyond all that, McCain retains the advantage of being the genuine article of what Obama merely pretends to be — unusually straightforward for a politician. However, the Palin choice may just make things more tense than they ought to have been.

By the way, if you want to take advantage of formatting, you can use the “blockquote” tag to encapsulate quotations (precede the ending marker with a forward slash), and you don’t need the “cite=” part of it.

August 30, 2008 @ 12:47 pm #

to somehow rationalize that she was the best candidate for the job is grounds for the men in the clean white coats to come and retrieve you.

Granted. “Not the best candidate for the job” is accurate. I would have preferred Mark Sanford. Palin has the virtue of being unexpected and interesting.

August 31, 2008 @ 10:05 am #

A great side-by-side comparison of experience for Palin versus Obama:
http://www.floppingaces.net/2008/08/30/palin-not-the-most-inexperienced/

Palin wins hands down!

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